Jeff Sessions has released his first ad in the race for his former Senate seat, and the servile tone he takes toward President Donald Trump is earning the newly announced candidate some mockery online.
Sessions published the ad this week, as he launched a bid for the U.S. Senate seat he once held in Alabama before becoming a member of Trump’s administration. Sessions appeared to speak directly to Trump in the video, as he pointed out that he left the administration quietly despite coming under public attack from the president. The tone has attracted plenty of criticism for Sessions, with many attacking what they saw as a public apology to the president rather than a message to Alabama voters.
Avi Selk of the Washington Post said that Sessions “begs Trump for mercy” in the ad, and others have noted that Sessions seems most concerned about heading off potential attacks from Trump right now than potential opponents.
As recent reports indicated, those fears could be well-founded. Though Sessions was one of the earliest backers of Trump’s 2016 presidential run, he became one of the biggest targets for attacks after recusing himself from the Russia investigation. Trump frequently laid into Sessions, saying that appointing him as attorney general was a mistake and lamenting that Sessions’ recusal allowed for the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Sessions may be trying to risk suffering the public ire of Trump, as a report from The New York Times claimed that Trump had privately sent a message to his former attorney general that he may go on the attack if Sessions decided to run for his old Senate seat. That has led to worry that the attacks could lead to a Republican primary win for former candidate Roy Moore, whose accusations that he pursued underage girls for inappropriate sexual relationships when he was in his early 30s led to a shocking loss, as Democrat Doug Jones won Sessions’ former seat.
Obviously, Jeff Sessions is 100% aware of the biggest obstacle standing between him and his old Alabama Senate seat. Check out his new ad. If you were an Alabamian, would you vote for him? pic.twitter.com/bGH9VEamrs
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) November 8, 2019
Others in the race have already seized on the troubled relationship between Trump and Sessions.
“The President is very angry with Jeff,” Congressman Bradley Byrne, who is also running for the Republican Senate nomination, told the Washington Post last week. “I think the President will be very vocal against him. For Jeff’s sake, I don’t want that. But I think that’s the reality of what he’s facing.”
The Alabama Senate seat is seen as one of the biggest opportunities for Republicans to make gains in Congress.